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Musings on fate, time, and a fun-sounding new film - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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March 9th, 2007

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01:45 pm - Musings on fate, time, and a fun-sounding new film
I ran across info about a new upcoming movie last night. It's based on a fairly nifty story by Henry Kuttner & C. L. Moore, which inclines me to like it, and it also looks fun, but amberite pointed out one reason it clearly appealed to me so much – the film is clearly involves changing the future, and that's something I have an extreme weakness for. I almost universally dislike and avoid stories about unchangeable fate and especially about time travel where the past cannot be changed. However, stories about overcoming or changing fate, the timestream, or anything similar greatly appeal to me. I'm pleased that one of the people involved in this film was involved with a film with similar themes - Frequency, which was far from a good film (although not utterly dreadful) but which I enjoyed because sending messages through time allows the protagonists to actually change the past. The idea that time itself is simply another rule that can be bent and even broken as needed is one I find both pleasant and comforting. I consider the argument some physicists use that various phenomena (like time travel) are impossible because they would involve causality violation to be ultimately aesthetic in nature, and I'm very much on the other side of this particular set of aesthetics, finding a universe where causality violation is possible to be far more interesting and hopeful than one where it isn't.
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(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
What? You mean you DIDN'T like the Back to the Future movies?

[User Picture]
Date:March 10th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Of course I did :) In those films, changing the past and present via time travel was certainly possible, although not always a good idea. Much fun.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I saw an ad for Mimzy the other day, and thought it looked interesting, too. I'm curious to see how well it'll work.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Yes.. I think the chronology protection conjecture is a joke. Also, I've seen how much determinists love to cling to their notions of a solid, linear causality in monitoring the development of the retrocausality article in Wikipedia. (Someone jotted a few random words to start the article and I turned it into a proper stub and started some discussion.)

Interestingly, I'm not sure if Hawking himself still supports the chronology protection conjecture as he develops theories revolving around what he calls flexiverse (which has an article in the Wikipedia that sorely needs development). Basically, he's postulating that even history itself is not solidly determined and that we can affect the past merely through observation (supported by experiments involving photons where actually observing the photon appears to affect which path it took). He's trying to use this new body of work to determine the most probably course of evolution the universe took since the "beginning" (before extra spatial dimensions collapsed to form temporal dimensions).

But yes.. all that aside, Mimzy is a curious looking film. (^*^)
[User Picture]
Date:March 10th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Hawking's flexiverse idea is fascinating and seems like the sort of theory that might allow for all manner of interesting bending of physical laws. Toss in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and you end up with the idea that our "present" drifts back and forth through universe streams based upon various observer effects. Intuitively, it seems that some form of actual parallel world travel might be possible under such physical laws, and I definitely like that idea. Of course, if you combine this idea with the Bohm interpretation, tossing out the principle of locality might well apply to temporal as well as spatial separations, which means that FTL/cross temporal communication (and thus travel) are possible, and that is also quite nifty. As long as either FTL/time travel or parallel world travel are possible, I'm happy with the universe. If both are possible, then it's a very strange universe indeed, and that's even niftier :)
[User Picture]
Date:March 10th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Much agreement. No matter how enlightened one considers Western culture to be, clashes between the cultural contract for time and the observed universe are not "paradoxes."

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